Carl Ellis December 1928 - Diary

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Saturday, 1 December 1928; At Home --

Quietly busy ... and a few things are starting to move. Received King's last package today, full of responses to my most recent offering. I was interested to see how this stuff would go over, as it contains those amendments made as a result of the Gathering. Now I have my answer.

King sends me a long list of objections and corrections. Some are his, some are the others'. I have been impressed with two things about this list: how many more items were on there than I expected, and how trivial they were, by and large.

The Nightsiders are hairsplitters.

I suppose I have known that since our last face-to-face meeting.... but it has been impressed upon me once again. There are elements of ritual in all of their speech, their writing, that must be observed if they are to be understood. Such a curious phenomenon: it is as though the thing which gives them life, the Condition, whatever lies behind and supports the mask, has no real intelligence or understanding of its own -- as if it is only the mask which can think or deduce intuitively.

Imagine. To have a mind, perceptions, desires ... but no thought, no intelligence, and little memory to provide continuity. No wonder they need the masks so!

It may be thought of, in a sense, as the same sort of communications problem as that of exchange with the powerself. The Nightsiders are hybrid creatures ... and the mask is the part that thinks and remembers; it is subordinate to the part that lives, which is little more than a beast!

That is an important element of the King's proposal, in my estimation: it is a way to give the man supremacy over the beast some of the time.

We, however, must do our part as well. We must learn the signals and rituals that the beast understands. Only in this way will we truly be understood -- for in the elders, no doubt only the beasts' needs are of value.

I shall have to speak to Carl. He will need to learn -- and then to teach us all -- the ritual and language of the others.

Good! A purpose. !important. Salvation?

...So I have King's list. It will not, I think,m take me more than a day or two to re-draft my response ... and then we will be ready. We may be able to move up the date! I should like to see Mrs. Williams free by Christmas; I shall call king tomorrow, or the next day, and see if this is possible. Then we shall begin.

Received a call from Carl yesterday. (Wish I had known about the Treaty stuff then!) He telephoned me to ask if there was anyone available to help Franklin Scott (of all people!) on some kind of archaeological dig in Ireland. Unfortunately, most folk are busy or out of touch for the moment, and will be until the new year or so.

Maybe we can discuss it at the Signing.

For the interim, I told Carl to send me the details and I would distribute them as I could.

I Visited the house yesterday too. After my Visits to the Estate and Amûn, I thought it might be interesting, with a different perspective. It was.

The house is easier to find, now, since I know what I am looking for. The signs of its adult form are clear to see ... but that maturity is yet far away. Channels and structures have been created,m within the house, but the Wellspring flux is not yet "trained" sufficiently into them. The paths that will one day be solid arabesques of shining light are now merely brighter regions within a dimmer fog.

This child is very young.

Stupid, too. And awfully self-centered. What little awareness there is, is of the house. Not the contents, never the grounds. The only real recognizable "structure" that is already present is the barrier. And even that is tissue-thin.

Maybe we ought to call the house "Big Peanut."

Thick frost last night, and the ground was frozen this morning. I love the feel of frosted grass when one walks upon it; Crunch, crunch! Introduced the kids to it today, reactions mixed. Also noticed a crack in one of the lab windows this afternoon. I shall order a new pane on Monday when I go into town.

About time, too, to start Christmas shopping! Oh boy -- the carols, the tree and the stories. A & R have no experience with these things. Well, it's never too late to begin!

Blessings of the Season. To all of us.

Sunday, 2 December 1928; At Home --

Spent most of the day thinking, and working out alternate responses to the list King sent me. I wish we were in closer communication. When I am done defining our position, probably tomorrow, I shall call him on the telephone and discuss alternatives. If we meet no insurmountables, this pile of notes will be typed, carboned, and sent off to him.

More and more, I think we will be able to finish before Christmas!

Frost again this morning, and the kind of heavy fog that seems to come with bad weather here in the Valley. Tulee fog, they call it. And, sure enough, the rain began about noon. Nearly dinner now, and it is still coming down.

Hope it stops before morning. Rain is such a difficulty, when one wishes to go shopping.

Monday, 3 December 1928; At Home --

The rain did stop, though none of us made it to town today. I worked late into the night, finishing the document, and put in my call to King this morning early. We discussed which of the various approaches was best; all that remains now is to type the final draft and send it off. Already since the call I have had some thoughts which I shall embody in the finished document ... things that are innocuous or simple now, but which hold great promise for the future. One is never certain what they will object to -- but I believe it all will pass.

That project, however, was shelved for the day.

Shortly before noon we received a visitor. A Mister David Crawford, of all people; Meagan's brother, the "Rake." He is, it seems, a Government field investigator, and I am indirectly responsible for his arrival.

Crawford has been put onto our case. Theo's investigation into conspiracy, and my own. Yet he is not here because I am a prompter of the investigation, he has come because he was given free rein by his employers, and because his sister told him that I had a lot of information about matters obscure or arcane. Huh! So -- he was fishing for lots of things, including names of others to see and subjects to look up.

He also, he says, wishes to join our activities to his own for the common benefit of both.

This last I feel less sanguine about, for several reasons. First, he already serves another master, and we cannot ensure that the two will not come into conflict (Tony's Kentucky letter comes to mind.) Second, his attitude is the same one I have seen so many times, that "you obviously do not know what you are doing so move over and let me lead you the RIGHT way" approach that is supremely hateful. Third, I will not saddle him or others without their knowledge; and fourth, I hate to say, he is a Crawford and a conduit to his sister. I feel unworthy, that some of these sentiments are ones I ought not to hold; however my people are my responsibility.

We spoke at length for the afternoon. I repeated for him the story told in Washington -- he saw through some portions of it, but not most -- and brought him up to date on the public version of that end of things. I gave him Theo's name, and his telephone number, and now must write to Theo and warn him that the man is coming.

No shopping today at all.

Tuesday, 4 December 1928; At Home --

Typed up the Treaty draft this morning and took it into town to send it off. The rain of the last few days has mercifully faded to a rather dispirited drizzle, which does not impede me much. Then I spent the afternoon shopping, hee hee!

Holly berries, and a cake; a pair of new records; some new clothing for the kids and Julian; a few toys and games; some decorations, some books; and a car.

The car, of course, is the big surprise. It will not be here until Friday. A brand-new maroon Model A. Such fun!

Re-reading earlier entries. I am struck, suddenly, by a sense of similarity between the Plague, the Glow, and the Condition. Add it together: Her sensitivity; their use, and attempted recruitment of, the Nightsiders; Avila -- vampires, the Glow, AND the Plague, where they all come together under one hand...!


There it is! TYPES of a thing! Ponically aware -- gaseous or micro-organic -- and ARE the Flu and the Condition so different? Fusion! His.

Likeness.... likeness ... and that implies what? Similarity of essence, or of action? The Glow -- bodiless, carnivore, what does it consume?

Life force.

And the Nightsiders: the hybrids: they sense it, they drink it -- AND the blood? (Didn't he always say, the life force was in the blood?) Didn't we already KNOW?) Food for flesh, food for spirit.

HOW can I use this?

The Dead Spot. Dear Lord -- They are in danger.

Imagine: could the Flu be an UNDEAD bacterium? Ee-yuk! What a horrid thought! And not strictly true I suspect. So consider the opposite: Are impact sites like the Dead Place the origins of the Condition?

It has to come from somewhere.

I have to tell Gordon -- but what precisely should I say? How much does he know about vampires? Dear me, what a quandary. This is rich indeed. Rich, and dangerous.

Again, again ... Avila: caught and created them. Lived by the Dead Place. Cooked up the first Plague. And the infusion of the Energy, as part of the concoction ... !

Again! "Power is fuelled by the life force; it is guided by the Intellect." Is it Power they see? Or life force? Or both?

What, again? What what what! I feel, once more, as though I am tiptoe-ing around the edges of a key, a fundamental essence, a basic SOMETHING. But, as always, it eludes me.

"The Blood is the Life." Gawd. In print, even!


This is going to be a long night.

Wednesday, 5 December 1928; At Home --

Having spoken to Andrew Scott, passed on my warning, and assured myself of their safety (the party is hale and hearty in Ankara with little to report; they've not yet been to the Mansion or the Dead Spot) , I turn attention to domestic matters. I spoke to the Children about plans and the future. Not an easy task, this; for one thing, as Julian points out, they must be approached separately, otherwise nothing will come out of it. (She was right, as usual.) Adam I am teaching the craft, which he is good at, and I think that the responsibility of running the workshop and lab will both be good for him and help assuage his urgent desire to DO THINGS. With the coming of Spring there will be sand-lot ball and teenagers all over town to meet and get to know. If I can convince him of the urgency of not seeming too different, I think he will be happy in the coming months. No; my concerns are for Rachel.

What a dear thing she is, and how carefully she needs to be nurtured! So fragile; the same things that would make Adam thrive and grow would crush her. She needs a quiet, peaceful home, filled with smiles and soft laughter, surrounded by green growing things.

I, we, cannot give her all that she deserves. Not now. Not while the needs of the job are so great. Yet I do not want to give her up; it hurts to think that I might; not only would I miss her, and she us, it would surely feel as though we had betrayed her trust in some fashion. I cannot help but think of my own distaste when I imagined Julian left to rattle around Wisphers for all that time ....

Yet that is precisely what I am contemplating.

They will not willingly separate, yet what each needs would make the other miserable, and I am not enough of a parent to bring it all together while I am away. Am I?

France for both? Perhaps. I do not like it though.

Letters out to Theo and to Gordon, and a whopping great big one from Lazlo! The core of the things is King's report on Eveling, Chandler et al; long, diverse, and tentacular enough that it bears multiple readings before I may view the whole of it; but for me the real meat of the thing is Lazlos' own letter.

What a marvelous thing! Not happy, really; but so FULL! It wavers back and forth between his usual objective distance and the sort of intensely personal dynamism that rivets one to a book, or makes an orator's fortune. He has seen some of my letters to Emerson -- Carl loaned him one or two of the more frantic ones -- and they have touched him. Intense, intimately passionate .... How can he possibly feel that he has lost through this?

Cuba. One hand, Cuba; my letters on the other. he walks a fine line in shadow, poised between love and remembered fury, an awareness of joy and an awareness of desolation equally personal.

But, he has seen. Touched. Grown. Ahh.

That joy. Yes; how lovely. Another beginning. I only wish I might soothe his fears more easily. Such a passionate man he is; so good to see the echoes of this change.

/// Ah! Think, man! Columbo, in '19! See! To know to grow to BE the quarry -- Again! Clues in the past, so obvious in retrospect. Ah! ///

Passion without vision. A necessary start, perhaps; but a true danger to him as well as a beginning. The doorway has changed! All of them have -- but he will not be consumed if he does not deny.

\\\ It touches me, too -- Beware, I must not lose the whole for the part! Else I am only the half-breed of the accusation. The fullness of the power, AND the futility! \\\

And he dreams. But what does he dream?

His first step is a true one: Her. But I think he still does not see the fullness of it. Thought without knowledge, knowledge without thought; where is the balance, the happy medium?

To thine own Self be true; God is within thee.


We must come to him in the Spring. If there is time.If Miriam does not make it impossible.

So; he talks -- and talks -- of the Light and Colbert and so forth. Light! Dark! Names to him, things without substance, and what are they? He treats them as objects, distances himself in speculation; "the need to prevent, and even destroy, the Dark where they exist and do."

Philosopher! Augh, Lazlo -- we must talk.

Thursday, 6 December 1928; At Home --

Spoke to the Children last night. The results surprised me, but in hindsight, they were for the most part expectable. Rachel wants to go to school; she will be going to France after the New Year. A shall try to arrange a tutor for her, perhaps the person who is giving young Ian lessons would be willing.

Adam's case is sadder. He dotes on the girl, and the possibility of their separation has devastated him. Oh, he is strong, he does not bend ... but his heart has been broken, silently, from within.

Parenting is difficult. I grieve with him; I want to shield him from all of his grief, and I cannot; but it hurts just the same.

I need to continue our talk later, perhaps tonight. He would be happy to take over the lab ... but all alone, here, in this house? Not good for either of them. Possibilities suggest themselves. If we may reach an understanding about Rachel -- then perhaps he too need not be alone.

Lord. Watch me manipulate. The worst kind of parent: Lax, yet sneaky.

Rain, rain, rain. A sodden day. What am I going to do?

-- LATER --

Things will resolve themselves one way or another. They are neither of them unintelligent or unperceptive. Ad they understand themselves and each other rather more deeply than I might have given them credit for, had I not been watching and listening all this time.

Rachel is going to France. Adam is staying here. His choice. It is a chance to be away from the pain. Maybe.

Some concern, here, over the bond that exists between them. It is uncomfortably like a bondsman's link -- or even a Balance's. Not well exercised, but very real. Rachel says it has been there since the first day she remembers after the Promise... but she does not have any idea how much time she has lost to the White Men, nor what occurred during it. She is afraid, now, that she and Adam may have been "married" then -- even though she does not recall.

What a horrid thought -- and all too likely. Damn them! Is there nothing they will not desecrate?

I have not yet asked Adam what he knows. Dare I?

Oh, I do not want to abandon them! It hurts to contemplate -- how I shall miss them so! Rachel will be happy I know ... but the thought of Adam rattling around alone here with no one to talk to, even to say hello to in the mornings -- Eh!

There must be some alternatives. Oh, help, help, help, help. I am sad., So sad.

Christmas. Rain -- and blustery wind -- and Salvation Army Santas huddling under the awning at the five-and-dime. "God's Birthday," shrugs Adam.

The Ford arrives tomorrow. Rachel and I are going shopping.

Christmas, and the Treaty coming up. What other blows are in store?

Friday, 7 December 1928; Evening At Home --

Still rainy, but at least it is not pouring down; rather, we are blessed with a slow steady drip-drip-drip that is curiously peaceful. Received a call from Morriss about two o'clock, and went into town to pick up my automobile. How nice! The smell of a new machine, all oil and leather and a certain indefinable freshness that was complemented by the rain, rather than being detracted from by it. Picked up the mail; letters from Carl and Mrs. Williams, about which more later, and joyrode about a bit just for the pleasure of owning the thing, trying it all out.

Later, Rachel and I returned to town for some shopping. The girl was absolutely overwhelmed by it all; she has never been out in public before, at least not when she was expected to interact with others. All the strangers! All the NEW THINGS! And money -- how does it work? Why do they give us change? Who is Santa Claus?

Imagine. Who is Santa Claus?

We bought candy, and books and records for the holidays, some groceries, and a few select gifts for Christmas. Rachel knew -- literally -- precisely what Adam wants most, so we did our best to find it: a Buck Explorer's folding knife. Lord only knows where he saw one, that he wants it so precisely, but it shall be his come Christmas. The difficulty, now, will be to keep it all secret. My own gifts for the children have not yet arrived from the mail-order, and I cannot discuss what either of us found for Julian lest Certain Persons read this entry, but suffice to say the day was a smashing success. The girl was terrified -- but enormously excited also. She bought a bag of giant penny jaw-breakers, and for reasons known only to her insisted that the big blue one was for Julian.

No more talk of marriage, though.

The more I think about it, the more concerned I am about the bond betwen them. It is undisciplined, nearly uncontrollable; they seem nearly unable to keep things from one another. Something must be done; if the thing is here to stay, then both of them must learn to handle it. In any event, the situation calls for expert help. Someone needs to look at them. Hmm.

I wonder what Adam thinks?

Hmm... the letters. Yes. Bad news all around; but between the lines, not in them. Carl is falling further and deeper into his infatuation with the Nightsiders (in the form of Zelda), sees them now as the brutal but innocent victims of centuries of unfortunate hatred and superstition. "Noble savages" of a sort, who may someday be redeemed and brought to civilization.

Eeshh. Crawly, makes me. Even if he is right, he is also wrong. There is no one ignorant here but us.

As for Mrs. Willams -- She is under pressure. King is coming close to violating his promises to me; I am more determined than ever to wrap this thing up soon and free her from his grasp! It seems that other members of the community have come to know of her, and are trying to seek her out. Her protector has already had to destroy one -- the details were not given. An interesting fellow by all accounts; everyone I know seems to hate him, yet she cannot praise him highly enough! I wonder what the story is that I am not hearing. A doctor. With a lot of the taint in him. His skills and perceptions might prove invaluable to Gordon's work ... once we broaden Gordon's assignment to include the Nightsiders. Consider -- is it possible to immunize against the Condition?

I doubt it. I cannot imagine a leucocyte that could stand up against a poniphagic killer. Still, there may be something. Some bastion against the tide.

This is no betrayal, King. Your people are safe from me... but, like you, I have plans that your people might cry foul about, if they knew.

Lots of plans. Hopes -- and little time to make them reality.

Must get a tree before we leave.

Saturday, 8 December 1928; Downtown --

The rain has stopped again, hurrah! The newspaper says that the next few days will be dry ones. Hallelujah, I say.

We all went out today on a shopping trip. Our first family outing! All bundled together in the family Ford. How prosaic. Makes me smile. Lunch at Alice's on Monroe Street, with Adam watching all the people while trying not to be caught doing it, and Rachel taking the food and drink service in stride but flabbergasted every time the waitress smiled or spoke to her. Such fun.

Now, the girls have scooted off together, causing secrets to be born, and Adam is loose out there with three dollars in his pockets and a world of ingenuity in his head; and me? I have been buying paper, and strings, and ribbons, and things for the tree, dreaming up ideas for gifts for our friends. Simple things, not extravagances. Finding the right thing takes more than money; and what do you find for the one who has everything?

For Zigfried, a finely woven carpet. For Maddy, a leather diary and a box of Eskimo ivory; for Lazlo ad Julia, a silver coffee service; for Byron, a smart new hat and a monogrammed attaché case; for Theo, a marvellously intricate astronomical clock that I saw at an auction in Boston; for Andrew, a carved oaken hatrack; for Meagan a necklace of jade flowers, and for both of them a carved crystal pane. For Alexandria a teardrop pendant and for Ceryous a pair of driving gloves.

But what should I get for Clay? For Tony? Or Carl, or Miriam, or Alex Chase? These people I care about, I should be able to come up with just the right thing. Haven't found it yet, though. So I sit here in Alice's, coffee at hand, and watch for the others to return.

Julian will know. She always does.

Postscript -- A fancy compass for Clay? J's idea, and a good one, though more than that is deserved I think. For Miriam, a music box and a note of apology for our curious pagan practices. Have to be small -- I want it to be bring-able when she comes. Alex ... Alex ... something in crystal. A tabletop, for a sunny room? Something for the family to enjoy. Aha! Carl and Clay both -- get elegant evening coats ... possibly a grey camelhair, very Civilized.

Tony is always difficult... but for him, the finest world atlas I can buy. He needs maps -- yes.

... I cannot get the thought of Adam from my mind. Oh, Adam, dear boy! The look on his face! Lord, how I hurt for him! His world, his dreams, shatter and burn -- and in the silence I hear only sobs.

Yet what can I do? Perhaps separation is best ... yet how can I help heal this pain that hurts me so as well? Such a burden he has held, all the years -- a burden of memory, a command to protect -- he must break, eventually. The weight is too great. Bitter, bitter. Damn them all.

Sunday, 9 December 1928; At Home --

Industrious me. It seems easy, these days, to be a virtuous and diligent worker in the afternoons, when I have spent the entire morning loafing first. Delightful after years of prompt arrival at the factory ... I hope I never entirely get used to it.

Yesterday was very good for me. I am much in the spirit of the season now. New phonograph records later tonight.

Today's project was wandering around the house and grounds, making written notes on all the things that need doing to keep the place up. Doors, windows, keys, food, utilities, mail, oil, firewood, laundry, dishes, the lawn, weeds, bicycles, money, the alarms, the lab, the baker, the butcher, and so on and so forth. What a lot of it! In the end I shall have made a sort of booklet of names, procedures, helpful hints for Adam. He need not actually use it ... but it will be there.

Awful lot of work though.

New Ceryous Outt letter. Rather an apology for the previous one. I do wish he would come out and visit, but he will not. Ah well. His gift is on the way, and a white linen overdrape for the back of their sofa too.

Must remember to send Lisel Harden a card.

And then, when all my lists and inspections had put me into a meticulous and slightly weary mood, I sat down to reply to Mister White's letter. He wants to play in our game -- and some of the things he has said make me wary. In particular he sounds as intolerant of the bizarre and different as the best of them (and I am thinking of the Nightsiders here.) I hesitate to think of how he might react to some of out more open-minded efforts!

So I wrote, and it's gone. I told him we appreciated all his help in Cuba -- but that our counsels were our own, and that we were best off keeping them that way. Was it the right thing to do? Even now, I wonder.

Poor Carl. How he must think we disdain him. All he got from us at Gathering was alarm, or pity, or concern .... He is wrong to reject all our efforts to counsel him, but he is right to decide for himself!

I only wish I could be more sure that he is capable of making those decisions on his own just now.

Sure or not, however, he is an adult. I must allow him the freedoms I insist upon for myself!

I believe I owe Carl an apology.

I will write to him, tonight or tomorrow. This whole business -- which I got him into -- has opened a rift between us that must be healed. If it is not too late; if I even can LIKE this strange new man he writes of; then it behooves me to try.

Such a strange letter, his last ... almost as if he knew what I felt a need to say before I did. Hmm.


Tonight is for Christmas stories.

Monday, 10 December 1928; At Home --

Here at last! Now! It is done! The treaty is complete -- King's last comments and corrections have arrived, and they are trivial. Nothing! In two hours I was able to draft clauses and repair the breaches, and King, on the telephone, confirms them. We are ready!

Now, I must write the formal draft. Oh, there are so many people to write! Everyone needs to be notified, and they all require copies of the thing. I do not think I have enough photo paper in the lab -- but what I do have will be gone tonight. And the rest tomorrow.

We shall set it for the twentieth. She will be HOME for Christmas, if I have a say!

Carl's letter has gone out too. I went to the post with it; that was when I received King's stuff. Maybe he will get a packet and the letter on the same day. If I work fast enough.

Eleven o'clock, same evening --

Eyes burning. Mouth dry. Fingers sore. Black smudges everywhere, and no more carbon paper. Thirteen packets done, mailed, gone. Everyone else has gone to bed; I am tired too.

More than half of the packets out. I feel a tremendous relief, a lightening of a burden. The arrow is in the air, we are finally committed. Now I can relax.

We leave for Chicago on Saturday.

Tuesday, 11 December 1928; At Home so far--

Wonders don't cease. Another promise redeemed. El Juan has answered my letter.

The messenger arrived during lunch: a boy. Quick, travel-stained, alert, he was hungry so we fed him. A vagabond at our door, until he delivered the note.

El Juan has agreed to my request. We shall meet. That I must rearrange all my travel plans to do it is merely irksome; a price paid for a thing of value.

The boy speaks only Spanish; wonderful exercise for me! I have not so much as thought in the language in nearly nearly a decade -- it is amazing how much of it may be persuaded to return with only a little prodding. So we spoke nonetheless, and I am quite proud of myself today.

I wonder of the boy will be there when we speak? I think perhaps he will. Hmm.

Most interesting, more even than the descriptions of Juan's life, were the questions the boy asked me on his behalf. Was I one with the changed blood, one "who lives very long?" Was I alone, or had I a wife, a friend, a companion? And other things -- proper questions all for one in my place. We have measured one another, through this wise-eyed youth; when we meet, he will know something of what to expect.

I did not mention the children. Julian was a trouble for the boy, at first, until he found out that she and my wife were the same person. The expression of relief on his face was almost comical.

Juan wants to meet me alone. In the most inconvenient place! We will have to move more quickly than I had wished, and not stay so long in Mule's Eye. We can do it though.

But, to go without my lady --! I will be so deprived. It is just not the same, alone. Ever.

Wednesday, 12 December 1928; Still Here--

Depressed, dejected, impressed with the deadly weight of the burden of my duties. Sometimes the only thing to do is to lose oneself.

I have been thinking again. The past; the future; the ominous foreshadowing of what may be. I am afraid.

So I spent the day mapping the paths to the Blind Dance. It helped, a lot ... now I am merely tired, drawn out and empty. I am once again at peace with myself. For now. I know already that it will not last.

Wrote another letter to Andrew White. More of an apology for the first one. Hmm... tomorrow we go treeing. Adam and I. Therapy? Perhaps.

We need to touch -- my people and I. Pompous? Could be -- but the need remains. We must travel, must touch; must talk; must grow together.

Are you at peace with yourselves, and with your friends?

There is a chance here -- like a glimmer down an overgrown path. A glimpse that feels right, but how to make it real?

Sometimes I feel as though I am losing the vision. It guides me, sustains me ... but more and more I cannot truly taste it myself.

It is time to move. Something must be done.

Friday, 14 December 1928; Home Again --

Shortly before dinner of a long day. Gordon called me this morning to report. Seems he is doing well and prospering. For all of Tony's worries about this Lanter fellow (and for all that I tend to agree with Tony!) Gordon at least seems supremely pleased. Says the fellow is brilliant though unorthodox, and he gets results at speed.

Gordon attributes the death at the Dead Spot to the action of a phosphorescent mold which he says permeates all the samples we took from the place. This does not sound right -- it explains neither the moving trees nor whatever yanked back at my bucket! -- but it is a start. He has described the activity of the mold (nasty stuff, grows through and within the unfortunate host!) and more importantly, notes and charts a fundamental similarity between the mold, the Type I, and the Nightsider disease!

Imagine my surprise when that came up! I have been reluctant to discuss the NSs with him for obvious reasons; but Lanter, apparently, a) recognized the similarity on his own, b) went looking for corroboration, in the form of a vampire, c) found one, in the form of Zelda, d) through her, made contact with Emerson, and e) managed to persuade both of them to part with blood samples which he has subjected to exhaustive testing!

Well! Quick results, indeed! Did he know just what he wanted to find?

All of this is very suspicious, but not criminally so. You may imagine, though, that I shall certainly ask Carl about it when we meet one another next week!

Treeing yesterday. Just the two of us, back to the same farm Tony and I visited last year. Good therapy for AdAm... but not enough. He thinks. And says little. But attacks the trees with angry, suffering gusto.

Quite a hike getting the Bush back to the car. Adam is not so strong as he wishes ... but he insisted on carrying the heavy end, so I let him.

He keeps asking me: Will she be all right, Sir? Will she be safe there? I tell him yes, it is the safest place I know ... but in my heart I am unsure. Safe from danger without, certainly. But who can be sure about that within?

Now the tree is filling the living room, alive with bulbs and baubles. The entire place smells so nice, so piney-fresh. Where is the joy that should go with?

Rachel has it. And Julian. And, when she smiles at me that way, or touches my heart so gently, so do I. Oh, so do I.

Poor Adam. How lonely he is.

Tomorrow we leave. A week, only; but I dread leaving them. Oh hush, they'll be fine, they'll be fine....

Silence! (Poor Adam.) It's Christmas! (How lonely.)

Ho, ho, ho.

Saturday, 15 December 1928; Sacramento --

In the train depot, waiting for our connection. Julian admonishes me to leave well enough alone and enjoy the trip. Oh, shes right, she's right; it is merely difficult to let go. Thank Heavens I have no real children of my own! I should have gone bald, and lived my life in dark corners, counting fingernails.

And I DO enjoy it! Every time! These trips we make, these travels, are always a joy to me, whenever she is here. Away from the familiar, away from people who know us, we are released, freed from unnamed yet omnipresent burdens. It always astonishes me, how happy I am, these times. We touch, we smile, giggle, laugh, make faces, chase each other around, simply enjoying the frowns and astonishment of our fellow passengers. They simply do not understand.

Love does it! SHE does it! My life. Julian! I love you forever.

Sunday, 16 December 1928; The Rockies? --

We have spent the day traveling through ugly, rugged terrain. No, not ugly, it is serely beautiful; but I should dislike having to farm here. All rocks, dust, jagged outlines; towns and gardens vividly out of place like windowboxes. Patches of snow on the ground; I hope the tunnels are not closed.

For the last couple of hours the terrain has gotten higher, more mountainous. I believe we are finally entering the Rockies from eastern Utah.

The train is cool; so much the better for snuggling. We have a window, we have each other - yes! - It is more than enough. Who needs to eat or sleep? She electrifies me.

Dinner may be our only meal today.

Monday, 17 December 1928; Nebraska? Iowa? --

Somewhere flat anyway. We have paid little attention to our location this trip; we, after all, going to the end of the line.

I feel reborn. Vital. This vacation has done me a world of good. Or perhaps it is merely my golden girl. We had only been home three weeks, after all.

Late rising, long afternoon naps, exotic evenings. That is, she drowses, not I. My time has been spent pathfinding. A couple hours here, there ... o, it is not enough, I may never understand that road completely! There is so much of it, and the new turnings are so difficult to pick out!

I do not mind. WhenI tire of seeking, I return... and here she is.


Tuesday, 18 December 1928; Chicago --

Arrived a couple of hours ago, in time for a bath and dinner in our rooms. Checked into a suite -- luxurious and practical, if there are to be meetings. In a little while I go to see King.

Tony is already here; a message was waiting when we checked in. I shall call him tomorrow.

LATER -- Tony called me, as I was on my way out. We met for late dinner after King's appointment. The meeting with King was interesting: oscar W and Madame will not be signing. Oscar for obvious reasons; but Madame G is in the grip of something peculiar, a thing that makes King profoundly uneasy -- perhaps because he's not seen it before. Some sort of ultimate dissolution? I do not know.

Good to see Tony. We had dinner with Alexandria. Both well, but my! How he dotes on her! Things, it seems, have continued since Gathering. She will be joining us at Christmas. Rebecca as well, although Tony intimates that there has been some trouble of late between he and she. I cannot say I am surprised.

So: Tomorrow is for shopping, and setup, and single meetings with whomever shows up early.

Wednesday, 19 December 1928; Chicago --

Stupid stupid stupid! Blind! Yes, I mean me! Took Theo to point it out: I have been viewing this alliance for so long from an us-and-them perspective that I had lost track of the original purpose of the thing. Thank heavens for Theo -- he quietly pointed out one small clause that would have barred any of the Avowed from signing! Boy, do I feel like a simpleton!

Fixed now. I shall clear the fix with King tonight.

Today was shopping. Icy gusts & flurries of sleet, but my word, they have a lot of fine stores here! All kinds of goodies are now mine: To keep, to carry home, to send away. Got Carl's & Clay's (lucky I had the flysuit lists!) and Tony's (but he doesn't get it yet!); Miriam's and Alex's are sent, though they won't arrive til next year (hah!); and most of the rest have long since been on their way.

Today was writing. A half million Christmas cards, including ones to Lisel H. and to my family, and a letter to Andrew Scott about Franklin. I shall have to speak to Arc about Samuel, Tony about Rebecca ... but in any case I should feel much better knowing he was on top of things.

Today was business. Arrangements for tomorrow's meeting room; talks with Tony, Alex, Theo; a phone chat with Lazlo, and with King. This is getting exciting.

My Word, I forgot. I must send cards, at least, to the Turkey people, Gordon, etc! Tomorrow, I suppose. Should've thought of it sooner,. Gah.

Thursday, 20 December 1928; Midafternoon --

We're on a brief pause. Such a lot to do! And so many new things to consider. Not all of them pleasant.

The meeting went well. Quite smoothly. Remarkably so, I think ... even Tony has agreed to sign, though I was not sure he would. We meet tonight to do the deed. Us and the ten of them. It makes me pause.

Then, a few moments ago, Alex drew me aside. He wants me to go with him tomorrow to meet Dr. Scott. It is a complicated and unpleasant matter, but the gist of it is that he believes Scott was possessed by an Elder thing at the time of the murder; and that it, not he, killed the woman. Without this knowledge, it is an open and shut case.

No court in the world will admit it into evidence. Therefore, says Alex, we must.

He wants me to sit in judgement on the doctor. To try, and if necessary to condemn, him. If he is acquitted, to help free him; and if he is found guilty, to pass sentence.

I cannot do that! Can I? I have no right! Have I? I have no authority! Do I?

And yet -- who does? WHO DOES? Who else will hear the case fairly ... and admit such supernatural evidence as is necessary with understanding?

I told Alex I would go with him, and that I would hear the case. It feels like my duty --

-- but what a burden! It does not feel proper, does not feel RIGHT for me to do so! Yet I must. Lazlo has agreed to come also. To him, the whole thing is very simple: Did the Doctor CALL the Elder thing of his own will? Or was it forced upon him? And, is it gone now?

I feel very bad about this. Very bad.

LATER -- The meeting is over. I have the document. King, Zelda, Galileo, Ariel, Icarus, Diamond, Lee, de la Fer, Vandervecken, Hardín, Moth, Maguire, Hunter, Rowdybush, Lee, Valentino, Christian, Voisin, Hippocrates....

Nine of us; ten of them. Mrs. Williams is free again; I spoke briefly with Mr. Cromwell who does not appear to want much of anything to do with me. (Remarkable, how indignant that makes me feel!)

Lots of plans, arrangements. A start; I feel drained. So many people, flying about in myriad directions! And tomorrow I must meet and hear Doctor Scott.

It seems as though I ought to have more to say about the Eight and the meeting. I do not. It is done -- cast -- a fait accompli -- and, except for their fascinating personalities, their loves and hates, there seems to be little TO say.

No; my mind is already on tomorrow.

I have thought - and thought - and thought through the past hours, even when I ought to have been attentive to other things. I still do not know what to do.

Julian agrees with me: This "judgement" is a bad thing. For me personally it is improper; and for the group as a whole, it is a dangerous and irresponsible precedent.

We should not mildly contemplate thwarting Justice for our own ends. The only reason I agreed to be involved at all is because the Court, and not the Law will through unknowing prejudice ignore or discount evidence that is vital to the case. We have no thte right to rewrite laws of this country, or to ignore them for our own convenience! That way lies dangerous arrogance. It is a road I wish to avoid.

No... no... the Law is not the issue, not in spirit anyway. What matters here is responsibility. Did he fall or was he pushed? Did he kill or was he used? Yes; these issues are vital.

It all falls back onto the Doctor. They say he is "once again sane." But is he?

Who may properly judge this case? ONLY HE. Only the Doctor himself may take the choice ... IF he is capable, IF he is responsible enough to do so. Yes, that is right. Not Alex; not me, not the Court -- HE. The Law is for handling people who are not capable of shouldering these burdens. We ourselves must be so capable -- otherwise we ought not to be in this Fight.

Accountability for one's own actions.

Is Doctor Scott capable? Responsible? Honest? Then let him judge his own case -- I take as my task the job of deciding his fitfulness to be that judge. Let us then be the jury; let the judge pass sentence.

Now -- what if he is NOT so capable?

Scott is not one of us. He has never been called to responsibility for his own acts. The dreadful Friedman-like anarchy of former days must not continue; I will not help him if that is what he insists upon. I will rather bow to my hypocrisy, and allow the man himself, or the Court, to determine his fate -- for I am not responsible for his crimes.

But what of free will, then? Is he to be allowed no redemption? That's not right either! Does he understand the wrong? Does he regret? Does he repent? WILL HE CHANGE? It must be his choice; but if he does, I say he ought to be allowed to have it.

Thirdly, How much of his will is free? if that thing did the work, how much control does it have? Is it still there?

Is he a perpetual danger to us?

I think it is our job to see to it that Doctor Scott is his own man, capable of judging himself. If that is possible, then he will decide his fate. If not, then he is not as sane as he seems, and he stays here, a clear and present danger. Only if he is set free, without and within, will we address the issue of his participation in the Family.

That will be a thorny path. Many folks will not trust him -- perhaps ever.

But ... that is for the future. Now -- how will I tell Lazlo and Alex, so as to make them understand?

Friday, 21 December 1928; St Louis at Dusk --

Up early early this morning, after a very late night last evening, thus am feeling a bit worn. To the hospital by nine o'clock after a brief but heartfelt explanation of the stuff on the previous pages . They remove shoes, ties, buckles, anything stiff, hard or potentially dangerous (including my glasses!) and all things in pockets, jewelry et cetera before allowing entry. Daunting.

Scott ... looks sad. Pale, thin, beaten. And all silent and closed up, like Andrew fighting off a rage. Not an encouraging sign. But he seems rational. Cautious, careful, unsure of how much to say in front of strangers (us); lots of Ten manerisms showing through clearly. Funny -- it is like nostalgia; no matter how much they always irked me, it is such a pleasure to see them in him, this stranger. Like a familiar signpost in a foreign land.

Lots of talk, back and forth. The end result is yes, he thinks he is responsible -- he himself -- but that the thing is still stuck to him tenuously ... enough to watch, and perhaps to act? So the point is moot-- he is too dangerous to release by any means -- unless and until that Thing is removed.

First order of business.

"Physician, heal thyself" -- they say he is a "soul healer;" Alex, Zigfried will spearhead efforts to ward him and free him of the attachment. Until then, he is not "sane." Further, it is unsafe to try him ... the Thing might conceive of a threat, and show up and "defend" him against judge, jury, spectators, et al. Certainly execution is out of the question!

So -- he is not sufficiently rational. Zigfried, it is hoped, can state this case until the people and the tools are amassed sufficiently to attempt the surgery.

On that note we ended ... there was little more to say to him.

Next, we packed and headed for the airfield. Our pilot, Jacques, was friendly but brusque, and did not want us anywhere near the controls; the aeroplane itself, a twin-engine Boeing, is endlessly fascinating, but extremely loud and often uncomfortable.

Several hours of bumpy, noisy flight; even this excellent aircraft is wearying. I am no aerobat I fear ... the prospect of two more days of this daunts me. We scooted into Saint Louis just at dark; at least we shall sleep in fine hotel beds! A small supper and early to bed -- we rise at dawn.

Thank heavens for Jacques' competence. Winter flying is no picnic. Tomorrow we try for Albuquerque, or even Tucson, and we HOPE that the ugly storm front in western Texas does not head North or West. Otherwise we may never make it home.

Ten o'clock. I wonder if Carl has read his letter yet?

Saturday, 22 December 1928; Albuquerque --

I do prefer trains! I do, I do! Nine hours, more or less in this snug little cabin. The same tomorrow. Egad.

It was wonderful to sit up there amidst all the levers and dials. The engines distant -- humming -- loud, but not irritating. Feeling of power! And so amazing to look out and down at the world! Cows, houses, roads ... all specks. Boats like leaves in the mighty rivulets. Wonderful indeed! And how FLAT everything becomes! Hills, valleys, all look the same; forests become inkstains; and fields and fields and fields and more fields, all brown and dead, glimpsed like graveyards without headstones, between and below the clouds as we flew. I love to fly! Clouds are so lovely from above! Or below -- but please God not within!

Yes, flying is wondrous ... for an hour or two. Then I want to land. Blue balmy days are my sort of flying weather. Not this nastiness.

We arrowed severely slantwise across Missouri (I resisted the temptation to ask Jacques to overfly Holliday, Kansas ... knew there would be nothing to see) and snaked westward somewhere around the Kansas/Oklahoma border, trying to avoid the line of storms inching their way toward us. We were not very successful.

Ugh! We were knocked all over the sky! Updrafts, downdrafts, flying through small clouds (they are NOT calm inside!) with thunderheads looming left and right and the fuselage quivering from staccato bursts of raindrops. Exciting, yes! An excitement to avoid.

The fronts caught us somewhere nowhere, either western Kansas or eastern Colorado, advancing across our path toward the mountains. After forty five minutes of clawing around and through, Jacques pulled us up into clearer skies ... and fairyland.

Lovely! Lovely! I was sick as a dog from nausea, yet could not help being transported at the sight. Huge towering cumuli, round and hammer-topped, marching below and beside us in vast expanses of white, silver, grey, purple, black. Julian was less impressed, I think; but she took the storm worse than I and scarcely appreciated the view. Like walking between ranks of cyclopean statues, spun of light and marble into unfathomable forms. Wow.

Of course, by then it was midafternoon and we had last taken fuel in soggy Wichita; we wanted to be on the ground before dark ... and all we could see was storms. So we flew. South, west, west some more, until the beautiful deadly cumuli were no more ... and a blanket of overcast covered the ground. Came down through it (shake, shake!) and spent three hours clawing south along the Eastern side of the Sangre de Christos until we thankfully set down through a light drizzle into Albuquerque. And here we stay, Christmas or no, unless the weather improves.

The good news, it is clear or cloudy all the way home, no more storms. The bad news, the trip will take at least ten hours, only one good fuel stop on the way. Means we start before dawn, if it is dry, and IF we are lucky we shall make it just as everything goes black.

Sigh. And sigh again.

Another light supper; and a kiss from my darling.

Sunday, 23 December 1928; At Home, by God! --

We made it! What a trip! I shall definitely remember this one for a long time .. but I think I shall strive diligently to avoid a repetition. Yes.

Well.. at least we beat Tony home.

We took off into the gloom jusdt before dawn. Leaden skies but no rain; we climbed into the blue and turned west.

Compared to yesterday, today was easy. Anti-climactoc. We sailed over the classic Old West. Saw rather little of it, actually, as much was clouded over; but passed over some lovely country! We actually flew along the Grand Canyon for twenty minutes in the afternoon before heading down to Las Vegas. So beautiful! I took lots of pictures.

Las Vegas is a little dusty town surrounded by dusty fields and orchards. (This is the winter, so at least the dust has settled.) We stayed only long enough to fuel up and eat lunch in the new airfield coffee shop. Saw some new building going on out towards the Canyon; apparently they've been running regular air service out here from Los Angeles twice a week for a couple of years. Cannot imagine why.

From there, west across the Mojave, then north along the Valley and HOME. So nice to see all the green growth below! Funny to think that California is green in winter and brown in summer, where most places the reverse is true. ...

Landed ahead of schedule, just as the sun was going down, at the airstrip across town. (I forgot about saving daylight going west!) A taxi home -- Jacques will stay the night here -- and I intend to treat him as royally as possible in thanks!

Had to fight down the urge to call Chicago as soon as we arrived; but to do so would help nothing. He will do as he will do .. I have armed him as best I could, the rest is up to him. I hope, I hope he is wise!

Monday, 24 December 1928; Still at Rest --

Woken up this morning with a call from Tony from back East. Tony? I mean Carl. Bad news amidst the good: he has become convinced that the Black Man has sent him a note. Biblical thing -- something from Ezekiel. Sounded a lot like something from one of the Books of Prophecy! Cannot imagine, otherwise, who might have sent it ... but I find myself unable to put it in proper perspective.

It simply doesn't feel right.

Other news ... Z is on the trail, has no news as yet to report; and he has met the Five. Faigon is alive. Hannalore dreams again (ech.) And one of the Five is an ex-board-member of a certain English clinic! Interesting -- must speak with Clay about that.

A little later ... NOW, messages from Tony! He is in Oakland and will be here tonight with the others. Also a pair of notes from Gordon, written before all the ballyhoo, in praise of this, or that, or Lanter. Apparently, he says his family was a vampire victim some time ago, thus his interest in and knowledge of. Still, though it seems plausible enough, after all the shouting & revelations of the past few days I am convinced that, at most, it's only part of the story.

Hmm. Zelda is on him, any way. We shall see.

Spoke vriefly with Adam after my talks to ZVH et al. I only wish I could have been more encouraging. Deep in my heart I expect that there is nothing to be done; that the wrong is unrightable & must merely be accomodated, but I could not just tell him that. He needs hops & encouragement just like the rest of us.

Besides, I need his help. So does she -- when her Trouble Times come. He may be the best, the only, bastion for her then.

Thus we gamble. Cast on the winds of fate, I told him, and so it seems to me. Every one of us comes to a point where all we may do is cross our fingers and pray.

Church tonight. looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 25 December 1928; At Home --

Christmas afternoon! Again I am struck by the difference that a years' passage has made. Last year we were three: Myself, Julian, Tony. This time, seven. How long ago it seems. How simple everything was.

Midnight service was a great success. Beautiful: the low murmur of people, cool air, flicker of candles, hint of incense in the air. A Christmas mass, and a message to all of us to love one another, and walk in His footsteps.

Love one another. Give.

Again I touch, barely; and it is gone. That glimmer of openness, of heady exaltation. God-in-Man-in-God. Are we all Christ? Once again, I am deeply moved.

The others: Adam in half-startled reverie, murmuring half-remembered replies he might never have heard again, worried that we shall see and take note. Tony deep in his own reverie, moved by beloved ritual far beyond himself, into a depth and contemplation I have not seen on him for a long time. Alexandria serene and comfortable, paying more attention to Tony than to God. Julian rapt, enjoying the ritual even if the words are unknown. And Rachel.

Rachel! Touched and more, swept away by the newness and the magnificence. Eyes everywhere, seeing everything, soaking it up like a sponge,. never to forget. She will remember this for a long time. Already she has asked to read our Bible, to learn the rest of the story. I can see I am going to have to invest time, help her understand about God. She deserves it. I look forward to it.

Home again, silenced by the feeling of fellowship and the golden moment. I feel sure once more, placed back on the path from which I did not realize I had strayed. The kids quickly to bed, and a few murmured words over Christmas toasts for the four of us. Then sleep.

Morning, and for once I am the first up. Stockings, honey cakes, tes and coffee, then Tony's help moving the big gifts in from the lab. The day is bright, cold, silver-dry. About as nice a day as one might expect for Christmas here. No wind, the grass thick with frost, breath crackling steam-white in the stillness, and that clear crisp smell to it all.

Kids down for the stockings about half- past nine, and the Main Event starts after breakfast; maybe ten thirthy. Once again, Tony is Santa -- Ho ho ho! Loud, clumsy, good-natured Santa. So silly, we all had to laugh, even Rebecca! And then, from big-eyed little Rachel behind my chair: "Look! Is that the Salvation Army man, Mister Carl?"

Ah, rich. Rich indeed.

Gifts exchanged, and a Christmas story read by all of us, and some new records played; now it is quiet afternoon. Tony and Miss Durrell are off on a walk through the orchard. She has become quite fond of him it seems.

Quiet. Rebecca and Rachel reading; Adam in his shed; the records back in their sleeves and the radio silent. Julian napping a few feet away, a tiny smile on her lips; and me, here, writing and thinking. I have a lot to think about.

Evening --

Sometimes I wonder at myself. How have I changed? What has happened to me, in the silent inside of my heart?

What a heretic I have become! blasphemer, perhaps. Yet I do not feel as though I have strayed, from grace or from salvation. No! Instead I feel closer to God than in my adolescence. I feel ... how best to say ... as if only in these past months has the wonder and the truth of all the Teachings I was ever taught come clear at last. I am buoyed up, both great and small at once; both proud and humble, and amidst the deepest dreads and fears, which are themselves new and troubling to me, I nonetheless touch briefly on the occasional glimpse of peace. Peace. Faith. A greater thing than I have ever known.

Why, then, will it not become complete? Why is the strength so rare, and the wailing ice of unspoken fear and doubt so common? I am glad it was dark in the church. Sometimes I could not see, for weeping.

All of this, the good and the ill, is part of me. Yet I am troubled. Rachel looks to me to teach her about God -- and what do I think? I say to myself, "How can I explain the mistakes and the lies?" What happened to revealed Truth? What has happened to the Word of God?

Beware false prophets! Have I condemned myself with the sin of Thought? The blasphemy of Inquiry? I believe in god -- in God! -- more now than ever before, but who else in the world recognize Him in my eyes? How can I say, now, that the Bible is Truth, when it has become merely another document to be picked apart for shreds of clues and meaning? When I find more echoes of the things I know exist in the holy texts of alien pagan cults than those of my own people? Jesus Christ is still the Saviour, and more than ever a revered Teacher -- but what Christ is this whose very divinity lies in his being no more and no less than a man like me???

Oh, listen to me! Hear the Heretic's words! O, what false pride, to dare to claim kinship with the Son of God!!

I feel neither falsehood nor pride. An awe, a sacred mystery, a revelation of a thing so precious that I hold it in unrestrained reverence and wonder.

The reality of God on Earth. In all of us. In everything.

Sometimes I feel I could embrace all the faithful, in love and kinship. Sometimes I feel it is they who are the pagans, the heretics, who must be kept far away. Hmm.

I am a warlock, aren't I? A dealer in mysteries; a man whose learning is not sanctioned or understood. I traffic in magic, I practice dark deeds. The tools of my trade are numbers, and alchemy, and the deepest of arcana. But, as Glinda might ask, am I a good witch or a bad witch? The answer would not have mattered, for centuries. The question itself was meaningless. Witches are Evil. Q.E D.

Jesus Christ never met a witch. I wonder why? There are sorcerors, a few, in the Old Testament; and Simon Magus in the New; but none in the story of Christ itself. I wonder why?

Is this important? Am I missing something?

Magic; miracles. Hmm.

Man is flawed; but what is the answer?

Rachel, Littlebit, you may have just opened my eyes!

Still Later --

Rebecca. My my my my.... Rebecca. More problems; more burdens. What was I thinking of before? No matter; it has been swept away. NOW what am I going to do?

How can I allow it? How can I not? It frightens me -- it disgusts me -- but I have no right to forbid. none.

What have I, to ensure our safety, if she fails in what she wishes to do? How DARE I let her go...?

I will let her go. I will help her. As much as I can; cringing inwardly at the things I condone, feeling so desperate, soiled, unclean because I have made this thing come to be. Unclean! How can I face them? Will they not know? See it in my eyes?

I fear for her ... and I fear her. I am afraid, not of betrayal, but of failure. We are so open, inside, so trusting. Helpless, if they learn what she knows! But she wishes it, and her life is hers. So -- God help me! -- I will plan with her. Together we shall conceive of this abomination, so she will live past its finish.

We have a week. I hope it is enough. Pontius Pilate? No. Herod, perhaps.

Friday, 28 December 1928; At Home still --

For the past few days I have not written in these pages. There is a reason for this: I find that I have not wished to -- and that I have been deliberately, though unconsciously, avoiding opportunities to do so.

It is this realization that prompts me to write now. I still do not wish to write, and find it more burden than pleasure, yet I fear that silence now will begin a pattern of silence,, and I really must speak.

I do not like what is happening. I fear for what is being done to me, and for what I in turn am doing.

Rebecca's intended journey is wrong! I know it is, everything in me screams threats and dire warnings. There is no 'sense' of warning -- merely an impending weight. A sense of doom. Evil? I do not know. Yet -- IS it her decision? IS she free to make her choice? I fear she may not be; but I have no proof, no way of knowing. Seldom have I felt so helpless ... so demeaned. And yet -- in the next breath -- I act to compound the folly. Look at what I am doing! See the growing roots of disaster ... the threads of dishonesty and manipulation that threaten to undo everything I have made. Starting with my peace of mind.

I spoke to Lazlo this morning. I could feel it! I could feel the lies -- the half truths, the evasions -- and the worry in him. Worry for me ... and a lessening of trust!

That trust that is the heart and core of our friendship: how could I risk it? How dare??? And then it came to me: What I felt was shame.

I have become ashamed of my own plans.

Something must be done; yet I know not what. I am at the mercy of an intangible inertia. IS this another clever bit of planning to undermine us, as Tony might suspect? I know this "necessity" is at least in part a lie -- but there is nothing I can say or feel that will sway her, and she herself does not seek fuller understanding of her motives.

So we prepare. Once again, I condone and plan wholesale slaughter. Forgive me, O Lord, but I DO know what it is I do. Oh,. bitter tears! Someone please weep for me. Someone, please, weep for all of us.

Somewhat later. Tantrum over. Im am embarrassed; nothing will be answered by these tirades. They come and they go, driven by despair and despondency. Yet if I do not go on despite it all, nothing will get done, and that is worse than my guilt must be. So.

Rebecca intends to return to theValley, and kill her onetime playmaster. She will do it, or at least make the attempt; short of continuous restraint, I know of no way to stop her, and imprisonment is the sort of thing they do, not we. Besides, I keep telling myself, it is her decision. I disapprove -- I will not condone needless death -- but she claims it is needful. I do not understand her arguments, but if it is so, then there are few better equipped to carry out the task.

I cannot, however, shake myself of the suspicion that this plan is not wholly hers. She says she has intended this since she left there; she freely admits she cannot explain her own feelings that she must do it; certainly she has been amply tampered with by the Black and White Men! I keep wondering if it is a simple command, buried deep within her, designed either to allow recapture or simply to nullify a man and an establishment that is is compromised and no longer of use.

These are suppositions, more question than answer. I do not know how to answer them, though I will do my poor best. In the meantime she readies herself to go -- and I will aid her. I know that, if she succeeds, the site will become a crazed uproar; little if anything of use to us will long remain. Timetables must be changed, manpower shifted. A lot of things have to happen NOW, before it is too late:

- If we are to perform a quiet survey of the valley and/or the Glory Hole, it must be soon; - If we are to get any further knowledge from the Others there, it must be before the uproar.

So, three things. A quiet probe team, a team on site to help her get away, and an assault team to savage the place, strip it of its value before it is all withdrawn.

Oddities and considerations: Does the business go to brother or daughter? In either event, is Loren a Key, and is it safe for her to become one? How much of a threat does Dargan remain? In the event the elder Eveling takes command, Rebecca deems it likely that he will defy the Black Man for his own reasons; dare we offer him aid, with or without his knowledge?

I feared explaining this to Lazlo. I enviion only too clearly the scorn in his voice -- the disappointment in Theo's. But they deserve to know nonetheless. And Theo is, I recall, a hypnotist. He may perhaps be able to gain some answers, even from her.

Rachel is readying for her great adventure. She must have catalogued and ordered everything she owns four times by now -- very excited. Not so, Adam, as might be expected.

I have spent my time variously experimenting with hypnosis and working in the Lab. Rebecca was kind enough to aid me -- I have learned a lot with her help. Adam is present but nearly invisible; and I now learn that he speaks Castilian Spanish! Makes me wonder what secrets are locked inside his private walls.

So -- on Sunday we move Rachel; if I am lucky, Clay will show up next Thursday or so, and we leave Friday. Or Saturday, perhaps.

So busy again. Must remember .... - Phone King, Theo, Gordon, Samuel. - Letters to Lazlo, Ceryous, Alex, DAF. - Package for Rebecca.

So much to do! Faint consolation, but something.

Saturday, 29 December 1928; At Home --

A few more perturbations later, and a call to Theo. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to believe that Rebecca's mission is indeed her own. I am not happy about the timing however -- too much at the same time, all at once all over. If Tony is in Spain when He gets the news, things could be disastrous for our hero.

Nevertheless, we go ahead. I have a lot to learn -- I must try to appreciate and remember those who may die. Dear God -- to lose Rebecca now -- ! How even to contemplate it! To lose a treasure of such great price -- unimaginable.

Speaking to Theo was intersting, but it left me uneasy. I am not certain why; but then, I am often uneasy these days. I discussed my hypnosis idea with him; he is interested and has agreed to help, but suggests working in conjunction with a therapist. I mentioned Mrs Willams to him, and have written her a letter of introduction. Perhaps she will agree.

Meanwhile, he continues to hunt lost Lenore. As one might (perhaps) have expected, the trail now leads him to, of all places, Ohio. A tiny farming town, he says; how chagrined he must feel. What is more, he has a house and a key -- and a name. "Uncle Geffory." Geoffrey Berman? I wonder.

I look forward to hearing more of his hunt, particularly since both Marklin and the Black Man seem to be involved. But Theo seems hesitant, secretive, reluctant to speak to me. Have I somehow lost his trust & his friendship? Or was it ever really given to me in the first place? Am I somehow destroying that trust myself?

I wonder what the Devil that pocketwatch is? Lord! I have being a general.

Sunday, 30 December 1928; At Home --

An uneasy, restless night, and miles to go yet. Many letters written and many, many more to come. So much to do before Saturday!

I am unhappy. Julian was right. Perhaps this sort of work is not good for me. Yet, now, there is no one else to do it. Hurry, March; hurry. I want to pass part of this burden on.

Rebecca says that our interference with Eveling will infuriate Isilie. Will it cause him carelessness? Somehow I doubt it, however much I wish it were so. One way or another we shall be committing ourselves to the heart of battle.

I am very much afraid that we will be unable to withstand the reprisals. If that is so, then our only hope is to hit hard and devastatingly with our single blow -- and then hide & scatter before the storm. If, on the other hand, we are not so exposed as I fear, such a move would only tell them more about our strengths and numbers than I wish them to know. We are so ignorant of our enemy; can we not keep them likewise?

Late now. Julian is waiting to console and council. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THEY MEET?

Oh dear.

Monday, 31 December 1928; At Home --

The final day of a remarkable year. It was -- what? A year ago yesterday that we found poor Mister Armius fighting for his life in that alley. My word, how much has changed. My WORLD -- how much has changed!

Call from Dale this morning. He is in town, with M. We spoke for a good while, about APC, and the NWI/Eveling/Chandler connections. I shall send him what I have on these things, and off he goes.

Tomorrow I shall inform D of his work. Tomorrow I call King, and get -- who? Rudy? -- for a watchdog, and free V and REL for Madisonville. Wednesday we take Rachel to France. Remember to speak to Bent about contracting TMF. (Papers!) Thursday Clay arrives, I hope. Friday we pack and prepare. Saturday we're off!

That is just the beginning. How busy we are!

I have made arrangements for dinner at Cabot's, and we will ring in the New Year there. Just we two; Rebecca seems to have no interest, either in the holiday or in the company. Considering what she faces, I am unsurprised. Laurence's story is stranger even than I thought.

For Auld Lang Syne. For all that is gone, and passed away ....

I need the people. To touch them, to be with them. The warnings were true; it is too easy to become isolate, separate from the rest of humanity!

Not tonight. Tonight, Julian and I will be people. No more , no less, merely two more faces in the crowd. How splendid to be away from it all for a few hours ... and the reminder of our brotherhood, our kinship with all the wonderful homely secret strivings, the joys and sorrows, the needs and generosities. Oh, it will be good. This is the ending of the old year -- tonite there will be no stealth, no secrets. Let them think what they may -- tomorrow we are reborn!

For auld lang syne, my love; for auld lang syne.... Time to get ready for the party.